“For my entire life, I have been a “pusher.” Someone who puts my head down, shoulder into things and doubles my efforts when obstacles arise. But I reached the point where I physically broke from this way of life. And now I am discovering as Deepak Chopra says, “The Law of Least Effort.” If I am more still, gentle and calm with myself I can discover better my true strengths and my own inner voice. That does not mean that I am not strong. As an athlete, I look forward to my body being able to be agile and powerful again. But I don’t have to make up for anything I feel insecure about in this present moment.”
That was a paragraph I wrote while beginning my physical therapy to learn to walk again following a complete tear of my hamstring muscle off the bone. I’m closing in on the first anniversary of my surgery and with the exception of some minor, stubborn, remnant bruising in my lower calf I am 100% recovered. And like many, now that I am healthy again, I am tempted to fall right back in to my old habits of driving my body beyond reasonable limits.
After having the best New Year’s Eve of my life, I came down January 3rd with the flu, that turned into bronchitis. So two weeks later, as the penned up squirrels in my brain are starting to gnaw and bite at the confines of bed rest I hear myself say to someone, “Sure I can teach four combo Spin/TRX classes Monday.” I hang up the phone and then proceed to cough for a full 5 minutes. The wise grey squirrel who is the voice of my inner buddha gets the others voices to settle down. And I think, “Did I go through that whole process last winter, only to ignore the lessons I learned? Do I want to repeat this grade?” As much as I want to go outside and play, my denial disappears and my over-eager confidence has a reality check. Wheezing as I walk up the stairs, I envision trying to motivate twenty people over blaring music, the hum of exercise equipment without a microphone. Honestly, how inspiring is it to be on a bike while your coach is hacking up a lung? So in the best interest of the paying customers and in acknowledgement of what is truly best for myself, I pass on teaching the classes.
In the past I would have felt disappointed in myself that I didn’t just suck it up and muscle through. I would have put pressure on myself and felt guilty about not being able to lead the exercising troops, like I had missed out on my duty and on having fun. But the lessons of last year stuck; I feel no reluctance to care properly for myself. Instead, I feel joy that I passed this test with flying colors.
So what this has re-taught me is to find my “victory” today. If you’ve just worked a 60 hour work week and stayed up late with a sick child, and every minute of your day has been scheduled, why are you taking a kickboxing class?! Take 1 minute out of each day and really check in with yourself and see HOW AM I? And make better choices for yourself off of that answer. Be your own Fun Police and feel blessed in every minute of your day, even in the face of challenge!